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The Elephant Whisperer: My Life with the Herd in the African Wildby Lawrence Anthony
Synopses & Reviews
Meet Greg. Heand#8217;s a stocky guy with an outsized swagger. Heand#8217;s been the intimidating, yet sociable don of his posse of friendsand#151;including Abe, Keith, Mike, Kevin, and Freddie Fredericksand#151;but one arid summer the tide begins to shift and the third-ranking Kevin starts to get ambitious and seeks a higher position within this social club. But this is no ordinary tale of gangland betrayaland#151;Greg and his entourage are bull elephants in Etosha National Park, Namibia, where, for the last twenty years, Caitlin Oand#8217;Connell has been a keen observer of their complicated friendships.
In Elephant Don, Oand#8217;Connell, one of the leading experts on elephant communication and social behavior, takes us inside the little-known world of African male elephants, a world that is steeped in ritual, where bonds are maintained by unexpected tenderness punctuated by violence. Elephant Don tracks Greg and his group of bulls as Oand#8217;Connell tries to understand the vicissitudes of male friendship, power struggles, and play. A frequently heart-wrenching portrayal of commitment, loyalty, and affection between individuals yearning for companionship, it vividly captures the incredible repertoire of elephant behavior and communication. and#160;Greg, Oand#8217;Connell shows, is sometimes a tyrant and other times a benevolent dictator as he attempts to hold on to his position at the top. Though Elephant Don is Gregand#8217;s story, it is also the story of Oand#8217;Connell and the challenges and triumphs of field research in environs more hospitable to lions and snakes than scientists.
Readers will be drawn into dramatic tales of an elephant society at once exotic and surprisingly familiar, as Oand#8217;Connelland#8217;s decades of close research reveal extraordinary discoveries about a male society not wholly unlike our own. Surely weand#8217;ve all known a Greg or two, and through this book we may come to know them in a whole new light.
Lawrence Anthony devoted his life to animal conservation, protecting the world's endangered species. Then he was asked to accept a herd of "rogue" wild elephants on his Thula Thula game reserve in Zululand. His common sense told him to refuse, but he was the herd's last chance of survival: they would be killed if he wouldn't take them.
In order to save their lives, Anthony took them in. In the years that followed he became a part of their family. And as he battled to create a bond with the elephants, he came to realize that they had a great deal to teach him about life, loyalty, and freedom.
The Elephant Whisperer is a heartwarming, exciting, funny, and sometimes sad memoir of Anthony's experiences with these huge yet sympathetic creatures. Set against the background of life on an African game reserve, with unforgettable characters and exotic wildlife, Anthony's unrelenting efforts at animal protection and his remarkable connection with nature will inspire animal lovers and adventurous souls everywhere.
About the Author
LAWRENCE ANTHONY is an acclaimed conservationist and founder of The Earth Organization. He received the UNs Earth Day award for his work in Baghdad. He lives in Zululand, South Africa.
GRAHAM SPENCE is a journalist and editor. Originally from South Africa, he lives in England. Together they also wrote Babylon's Ark: the Incredible Wartime Rescue of the Baghdad Zoo.
Table of Contents
Kissing of the Ring
Journey to Mushara
The Head That Wears the Crown
Introduction to the Boysand#8217; Club
Coalitions and a Fall from Grace
The Domino Effect
Capo di Tutti Capi
Of Musth and Other Demons
The Emotional Elephant
The Don Back in the Driverand#8217;s Seat
Sniffing Out Your Relatives
Where Are the Boys in Gray?
A Case for Dishonest Signaling
The Don under Fire
Black Mamba in Camp
Baying at a Testosterone-Filled Moon
A Deposed Don
The Don Returns
Scramble for Power
The Royal Family
The Politics of Family
A New Beginning
Captions for Chapter-Opening Photos
What Our Readers Are Saying
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